Richards: "Terrific" to be on the V8 Supercars calendar
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
By V8 Supercars
Australian motorsportgreat Jim Richards believes racing the Touring Car Masters at V8 Supercars events adds another level of excitement to the classic category.
This week's V8 Supercars' Sydney Motorsport Park 400 offers the only chance for fans to see the Touring Car Masters in Sydney - and the Championship is nail-bitingly close, with Richards just 28 points behind leader and long-time rival John Bowe.
Both are respected names in motor racing - and both can't wait for the weekend, when they will hit the 3.91km 'Grand Prix' incarnation of the track, which TCM has not contested since 2011.
"It's terrific," Richards said of the event, beginning Friday August 22.
"Any meeting we go to without the V8 Supercars isn't anywhere near as entertaining - for us as well, because we enjoy watching the V8s and also looking at the times and seeing how things are going.
"It adds a whole other atmosphere to our racing if we're on the V8 Supercar program, so that's why we like it."
While it's tight at the top of the points, for Richards - steering a Shannons Insurance sponsored 1964 Falcon Sprint - racing in the Touring Car Masters is about having a bit of fun.
"To be honest I don't even know what the points are at the moment! We just go in and do the best we can on the day, within reason, and see what happens at the end.
"JB and I have raced each other since the '80s so we know each other well, and it's all nice and clean between us."
Bowe echoed the sentiment, describing current TCM Champion Richards as an awesome competitor. After the first three events the rivals have split the ProMaster class round wins between them - Bowe winning at Clipsal and Darwin, with Richards having won on count back at Winton.
Bowe believes the classic category has plenty to offer the fans, saying this year's racing has been "both spectacular and entertaining".
"We've had lots of different winners - be it Falcon, Camaros, and even the occasional Mustang has visited the podium," 'JB' told v8supercars.com.au. "This is racing like it was in the sixties and seventies.
"The competition in the TCM continues to grow year on year. Such is the competition in all popular categories - it's the very nature of motorsport, to strive and improve."
Bowe has done plenty of laps around Sydney Motorsport Park - in fact, he holds the lap record for all three variations of the circuit!
So, while he believes the SLR 5000 Torana of Jason Gomersall is starting to look "increasingly threatening and very likely to pop out in front, just as it did in back in the day" any follower would know JB himself - who has scored pole position at every event this year - is a threat for the win.
He and 'Mustang Sally', his Dunlop Super Dealers / Wilson Security 1969 Mustang TransAm, are sure to put on a show this weekend.
"Sydney Motorsport Park will be fantastic for these cars and a fitting support category for the serious business of V8 Supercars! I hope to see our TCM fans over the weekend," Bowe said.